The recently-installed CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was accused of domestic violence against his second wife, who later said he threatened to leave her penniless unless she failed to testify against him.
According to Politico, Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon was charged with battery, dissuading a witness, and misdemeanor domestic violence in connection with a January 1996 incident in the couple’s southern California home.
A police report stated that the incident was prompted by an argument about the couple’s finances. At one point, Bannon allegedly walked to his car and was followed by his then-wife. She allegedly spat at him, and he responded by allegedly reaching “up to her from the drivers seat of his car and grabbed her left wrist. He pulled her down, as if he was trying to pull [her] into the car, over the door.”
When she went back into the house to contact authorities, the report stated, Bannon “jumped over her” and their two young children to take the phone from her, at which point he threw it across the room. He was arraigned that March and a trial regarding the case began on July 31 of that year. It was transferred to another court 13 days later, but then dismissed when the woman was “unable to be located.”
The New York Post reported that the woman, who filed for divorce from Bannon in January 1997, said in court documents that he told her to leave the area. Bannon’s attorney, she said, told her she “would have no money [and] no way to support the children” if she testified against him.
“If I wasn’t in town they couldn’t serve me and I wouldn’t have to go to court,” she said, adding, “He also told me that if I went to court he and his attorney would make sure that I would be the one who was guilty. I was told that I could go anywhere in the world.”
A spokesperson for Bannon, identified as Alexandra Preate, told Politico that “he has a great relationship with the twins, he has a great relationship with the ex-wife, he still supports them.”